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Census Bureau to miss deadline for House apportionment data

Census Bureau to miss deadline for House apportionment data
The U.S. Census Bureau on Wednesday said it will deliver data used to allocate seats on the House of Representatives to states in early 2021, missing its deadline of Dec. 31. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 30 (UPI) -- The U.S. Census Bureau said it does not expect to meet its Thursday deadline to produce population counts used to allocate seats in Congress.

In a statement on Wednesday, the bureau said it will continue to process the data it has collected since October and plans to "deliver a complete and accurate state population count for apportionment" in early 2021.

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"As issues that could affect the accuracy of the data are detected, they are corrected," the Census Bureau said. "This important process, which has been a part of every decennial census, is critical to producing data that can be used for apportioning seats in the House of Representatives among the states."

The Census Bureau said it plans to deliver the data "as close to the statutory deadline as possible."

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Earlier this month, House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carlyn Maloney held a hearing to weigh the possibility of a subpoena for census documents after reports that "growing snags in the massive data-processing operation that generated population totals" would delay the count "at least until January, and perhaps to mid-February."

In mid-October, the Supreme Court allowed the Trump administration to end census field operations, which began on Jan. 21 but were suspended in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic, pushing the counting deadline from the end of July to Oct. 31.

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Wednesday's announcement also came after the Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit brought by 23 state's to halt an order from President Donald Trump to exclude undocumented immigrants from the 2020 Census figures.

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The 6-3 majority said on Dec. 18 that deciding the case now isn't feasible because it remains uncertain just how fully the Commerce Department, the parent agency of the Census Bureau, will implement the presidential memorandum.

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